So I’ve been in a serious relationship with a lovely young lady for just over 6 months now. I’m just as surprised as you that she hasn’t throttled me in my sleep yet. We seem to make each other very happy, but there is a fatal flaw in her character. It’s a red flag I should have noticed on date one. She never watched The Simpsons when she was a kid. Maybe it’s because she’s several years younger than me (I’m 27, she’s 21, in case you thought I was getting some jail bait), or maybe she was too busy “reading books” and “learning” to watch cartoons, or maybe she just plain missed out; for whatever reason The Simpsons was not a mandatory part of her upbringing.
Now this presents a problem. A selfish problem. I’m a (classic) Simpsons nerd. I throw out relevant Simpsons quotes all the time. She doesn’t laugh at any of them. Do you know how much it destroys my fragile self-esteem to make a well-placed, awesome Simpsons reference, and then get no recognition for it…? It kills me inside! She needs to start watching The Simpsons simply to comprehend the lingo she will have to endure throughout our relationship. Oh yeah, and because it’s the best show in the history of television.
Now, asking her to watch seasons 2 through 11 would be a daunting task. Frankly, a task she wouldn’t do. So what I’ve done here, is create a list of 25 episodes of the Simpsons that I want her to watch FIRST. It will give her a core knowledge of the show. It’s not all the best episodes, because obviously there are WAY more than 25 great Simpsons episodes, but it’s a good set of awesome, quotable episodes that a newcomer to the show could appreciate.
I tried to make it almost like a fake season. I’ve attempted to get her some character specific episodes early on, only one Treehouse of Horror, only one flashback, only a small handful of travel episodes, NO clip shows or non-Halloween three-story eps. Sadly, I just can’t include everything in just 25 episodes. So there’s not really any Troy McClure, Grandpa Simpson, Patty & Selma, Principal Skinner, etc heavy episodes. I’d like them to be watched in this order (together of course, can you say RELATIONSHIP ACTIVITY?!), and I hope they flow nicely in this order. Regardless of whether she likes them or not in the end, this seems like a great opportunity to publicly shame her into watching whatever TV show I feel like watching. (laughs into tape recorder)
(laughs into tape recorder again)
*One notable exception I would have put in here is the Cypress Creek/Hank Scorpio episode, but we caught that one randomly on TV a couple of months back…
1. Two Dozen and One Greyhounds (season 6)
I figure this is a good starter episode. She likes 101 Dalmatians, and dogs in general. Kind of has a little of everything.
2. Marge vs. the Monorail (season 4)
Another good wacky episode just to get into the feel of things. I hope I’m not setting her up to think there’s incredible music numbers in every episode.
3. Mr. Plow (season 4)
Now I figure I’ll get into some character specific episodes. Starting with Homer. Now I can finally start singing the Mr. Plow theme song around her.
4. Lisa’s Substitute (season 2)
Lisa specific episode. Oh what’s that? The Simpsons can have emotional episodes? YOU’RE GOD DAMN RIGHT THEY CAN.
5. Bart Sells his Soul (season 7)
Bart specific episode. I hope it’s not too much of a contrast in comedy to go from a season 2 episode to a season 7 episode, but I like this episode a lot. It also shows how much of a prick Milhouse can be. I know the obvious choice for a Bart intro episode would be the shoplifting one, but I just watched it recently and don’t feel like watching it again. SO? Also… Uncle Moe’s Family Feedbag… hell yes.
6. Homer at the Bat (season 3)
Good wacky Homer episode, and one of the best of the series. It’s like there’s a party in my mouth, and everyone’s invited!
7. $pringfield (season 5)
(the casino episode) Showing Marge and Homer’s relationship in the spotlight. Also a nice example of what my life was like without a woman keeping me stable. Oh, how close I’ve come to making that for dinner.
8. Lisa on Ice (season 6)
Bart/Lisa dynamic episode. Plus, she likes hockey. Win-win.
9. Bart of Darkness (season 6)
More Bart stuff, lots more of Milhouse being a dick.
10. Hurricane Neddy (season 8)
Seems about the right time to inject some Flanders into the mix. Everyone in America should be required to memorize the Flanders freak out scene. You ugly, hate-filled man…
11. Lemon of Troy (season 6)
Required watching. I think I want to show Milhouse being a dick as much as possible. I like Milhouse.
12. Itchy and Scratchy Land (season 6)
We went to the zoo a couple weeks ago, and we ended up in a gift shop after the dolphin show, and we stumbled across the personalized memorabilia. Obviously, this is the correct time for *anyone* to say “Attention: we need more BORT license plates”. WHICH I DID. And I didn’t even get an acknowledgement smile… Things have to change. Plus is the only episode we can watch where nothing can possibli go wrong… I’m sorry, possibl”y” go wrong. That’s the first thing that’s ever gone wrong…
13. The Springfield Connection (season 6)
I figure she’ll enjoy the Marge/Homer relationship episodes. And she’ll finally find out what the correct term for ‘garage’ is, without being a fancy French person.
14. King Size Homer (season 7)
I wash myself with a rag on a stick…
15. Bart Gets an Elephant (season 5)
I think she needs to see Homer get his head stuck in Stampy’s mouth. More than anything.
16. Treehouse of Horror V (season 6)
Now’s as a good a time as any to watch a Treehouse of Horror. This one happens to be my favorite (The Shinning, Time Travel Toaster, Nightmare Cafeteria).
17. Team Homer (season 7)
We like bowling, so, RELEVANT. Also, I want to show her how easy it is to get a Harvard diploma. Orrrrrrrrrrrrr should I just take the lobster harmonica…?
18. Bart vs. Australia (season 6)
I think this is only the 2nd travel episode I’ve put in here. One of my favorites. HAY! MISTAH PRIME MINISTAH! … … ANDY!
19. I Love Lisa (season 4)
Random Lisa episode because I think she’ll appreciate it! Chocolate never comes out.
20. Cape Feare (season 5)
I’ve got to include at least one classic Sideshow Bob episode in here. HEY BART WANNA SEE MY NEW CHAINSAW AND HOCKEY MASK?!?!?
21. A Milhouse Divided (season 8)
Finally, she’ll know how to correctly draw dignity.
22. Homer’s Enemy (season 8)
My favorite episode of all time! Must be seen!
23. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (season 8)
Another good Marge/Homer relationship episode. Plus I get drunk at parties all the time, and, well, I’m sure there’s some message in there that will relate to us… Or just make me look like a jackass…? I don’t even know anymore. All I know is that dogs can’t talk.
24. Mother Simpson (season 7)
Nearing the conclusion of the list, and BOOM, putting in one of the most emotional endings in the history of the show. I’m going for EMOTIONZ.
25. 22 Short Films About Springfield (season 7)
Seems like the logical conclusion to a new-found knowledge of The Simpsons. The only way to get gum out of your hair is to CHEW IT OUT!